(L-R) Dr Jean-Claude Schmit, Director of Health; Martine Deprez, Minister of Health and Social Security; Pierre-André Michaud, Teacher; Dr Silvana Masi, Head of the School Medicine Division, Health Directorate; Credit: MSSS

On Tuesday 6 February 2024, Luxembourg’s Ministry of Health and Social Security announced it took stock of school medicine in Luxembourg, emphasising that it occupies a crucial place in the education of children and adolescents.

Each year, more than 50,000 young people benefit from the medical school services offered throughout the country, according to the ministry. The main mission of school medicine is to ensure the health and well-being of new generations, by intervening directly in public and private schools and high schools across the national territory.

Luxembourg’s Minister of Health and Social Security, Martine Deprez, stressed that the health of children and young people is a precious capital which determines their future: “It is essential to recognise the impact of the behaviours adopted during this period as well as physical and social environments in which they evolve because these factors influence their future health.”

As part of the 2018-2023 government programme, an in-depth analysis of school medicine was carried out in 2023 to evaluate its operation and its systems. This task was entrusted to Professor Pierre-André Michaud, an internationally recognised expert in the field of school health.

The report resulting from this analysis took stock of the organisation of school medicine in Luxembourg, preferring the term “school health” and aimed to highlight the necessary changes in line with the evolution of school health in general over the last decades.

The evolution of society has led to a shift from hygiene and medical issues to psychosocial issues, as well as increased needs in terms of health education and student well-being, the ministry noted. Minister Deprez stressed the importance of a holistic approach which requires interministerial reflection, involving health and education stakeholders, as well as different municipalities from the four corners of the country.

This report will form the basis for implementing the changes needed to adapt school health services to society’s demands. The minister stressed she is committed to taking these recommendations into account and working closely with stakeholders to implement this new paradigm of school health, thus aiming to guarantee better healthcare for students.